Research Article|Articles in Press

Working whilst studying: a survey of medically-qualified dental students


      Medically-qualified junior trainees who are interested in oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS) are faced with the challenging decision to undertake the minimum three years required to obtain a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) with its associated expenses and loss of income from full-time employment, or to follow a different career path. Trainees have reported duration of training and financial factors, such as cost of attaining additional qualifications and loss of income, as common reasons for loss of interest in OMFS. This survey of students enrolled on King’s College London’s three-year BDS dentistry entry programme for medical graduates (DPMG) shows that most students undertake paid part-time work in various settings and specialties alongside their studies. The average number of hours worked by students whilst studying is reported to be 27.0/week. Students report a wide range of incomes from various sources including secondary-care shifts in the NHS and private sector, as well as non-secondary-care activities such as non-surgical facial aesthetics. Direct correlation is noted between the number of hours worked and earnings, with comparable potential income in OMFS and non-OMFS specialties. Participants working in OMFS report greater educational and training value compared with non-OMFS work.


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